The Miniature Puppet Theatre of Robert Anton

Robert Anton

Robert Anton and one of his creations

I had heard of Robert Anton, but didn’t know much about him. He died of AIDS while I was in college (in 1984.)  I had read a couple of articles in TDR (the Drama Review), which I used to pore over.  Knowledgable artists and critics loved his work, and extolled him to the high heavens– and though he had not much success in the States, was revered in Paris (and given a theatre for a year)

A stunning exhibition just ended at Broadway 1602 in NY. Sadly, I just found out about it, otherwise I’d have definitely tried to attend. Fortunately, Broadway 1602 has a number of images up on their website of his puppets and some of the exhibition materials. SEE THE EXHIBITION HERE.

More importantly, this stunning video/documentary posted below, in which friends, colleagues, and other cognoscenti (including Jeanne-Claude van Itallie and Tommy Tune) talk about his work, his puppetry, his influence, and his precise and beautiful work that he performed.

Robert Anton documentary from BROADWAY 1602 on Vimeo.

I highly recommend taking a look at the images and the video, which makes me wish I had a time machine so that I could go back and view this art that he created. (While I was there, I’d also be going to see some work by Jerzy Grotowski at the same time. As one of the interviewees says, this time in the history of New York was poor fiscally, but creatively rich.)

Unfortunately very few videos or films of his performances were ever made, so we only have these stellar stories about his work.

I’ve selected a few of the images from their website.  One of the amazing things about some of these puppets were the scale.  They were made so small and tiny and delicate and intricate.


I don’t think I had seen his work, but I feel like I’ve been very influenced by it, both on a personal aesthetic level and on a philosophical level.



ALL images from the Broadway 1602 website.  

Robert Anton puppet

The Spanish Princess

Robert Anton puppet

The Nazi

Robert Anton puppet

The Rabbi

Robert Anton puppetry

All of the puppets and sets were designed to fit in these cases

Robert Anton puppets

Two puppets

Robert Anton puppetry

Two puppets with Josephine Taylor

puppetry by Robert Anton

3 white clowns by Robert Anton

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